Remedy for Stinging Nettle

Today I got to experiment first-hand -well first arm- with a remedy for Stinging Nettle stings.  I was picking raspberries , yum fresh raspberries, and reached across a batch of stinging nettles.  I felt the little pokes tingling up my arm turn into a full blown sting!  Ouch.

Here’s a picture of what stinging nettles looks like, so you can avoid the sting.

stinging nettle sting | Swarm Naturals

I got stung badly on the bare arm, fingers and leg.  The blisters and the itch formed immediately.

stinging nettle sting | Swarm Naturals

 

It’s called the 7 minute itch. A few ours later it still hurt.  What a great opportunity to test out some ‘home’ remedies-

Here’s are some options:

Natural Remedy For Stinging Nettles Stings

1. Apply aloe vera to the rash. Aloe vera is an effective anti-inflammatory, and you should experience some degree of immediate relief.

2. Baking soda and water paste. Using a clean cloth, dab the paste on the sting.

3. Coconut Oil. To help sooth and moisturize.

4. Plaintain. Take a few leaves chew them up and place them on the blisters.

Last but not least here’s the shocker:

Soap…

and

Water!

Just wash the affected area with water and lather it good with any type of hand soap. Rub thoroughly and rinse. This seems to remove the nettle juice and put an end to the misery!

……………………………

So I washed up well and I had instant relief!

Woohoo!

But the the itch and sting came back.  So I went with a mixture of options.  I chewed up some plantain and placed in on the blisters.  Relief, yes.  Next I apple some of my lotion bar and added a layer of coconut oil.

All better.

At the end of the day it was worth it….check out what I got from the garden!

Harvest | Swarm NaturalsA big thanks to my mother in law for keeping such an awesome garden! (photo is unfiltered!)  So, I’d chalk this up to a good day….stings and all!

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Unspoken Rules of Motherhood

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The Unspoken Rules of Motherhood

1. We will introduce ourselves by first name without hesitation every time we see each other, even if we’ve known each other since 1996. You know- Momma brain.

2. We change out of our pajama pants, into our yoga pants and are ready for the day.

3. Our kids ask where are you going when you put on jeans. oohhhh- Fancy.

4. When your husband asks, “what did you do today?” you can’t muster up a single thing to report, despite feeling like you’ve been put through the spin cycle of the washing machine.

5. We’ve cleaned the house with a package of baby wipes and felt pretty good about the shine.

6. A “night out” is roaming the aisles at Target alone.

7. The TV has been on all day, but we have no idea what’s happening in world news.

8.  Showering is a major accomplishment. MAJOR.

9. You actually know what the fox says, or what it could say at least, because 50% of your time is spent making animal sounds. 

10. Your mood depends solely on the length of time your child napped for.

11. On the way out the door, you look down at your kids crusty food on your shirt and think to yourself, eh, it’s not that bad. Or worse, you pick it off and actually taste it.

12. You fake stomach problems once your husband gets home, just so you can be alone in your own bathroom.

13. You have to check the weather outside before you head out because you have no idea how cold or warm it is because you haven’t been out in days.

14. You consider going on Facebook “spending time with your friends”.

15. You’ve been wearing the same outfit for a couple days in a row…and you’re not sure exactly how many “a couple” means.

16. Your vacuum cleaner is a permanent fixture in [insert the busiest room in the house] and hasn’t been unplugged for three months.

17. You have no idea what the date or day of the week is, but you can tell what time it is just by what cartoon is on TV.

18. It’s only 9 am and you’ve thought “I need a drink”.

19. The cup of coffee you are drinking at lunch is the cup you made at 5:30am, just reheated for the 100th time.

20. You don’t want to go to bed at night because the silence is just too beautiful, no matter how tired you are.

Motherhood | Swarm Naturals

What would you add to this list?

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What is Bee Pollen and Why Consume It

What Is Bee Pollen?

Bee Pollen is from honeybees and is the food of a young bee.  Bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods as it contains nearly all nutrients required by humans.  Bee-gathered pollen is rich in proteins (approximately 40% protein…that’s right 40%), free amino acids, vitamins, including B-complex, and folic acid.

Bee pollen is a complete food.  Bee pollen is more rich in proteins than any animal source.  It contains more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese of equal weight.  About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body.

It is important to recognize that a one teaspoon dose of pollen takes one bee working eight hours a day for one month to gather. Each bee pollen pellet, contains over two million flower pollen grains and one teaspoonful contains over 2.5 billion grains of flower pollen.

Dr. Gabriel Cousens MD, has listed bee pollen as one of his 22 most recommended food energies.  Bee Pollen has been used medicinally for a wide range of conditions from prostate health to skin conditions and can help correct specific nutritional imbalances within the body.

Here are just 10 great reasons to add fresh bee pollen to your daily diet… although there are many more!

Why Consume Bee Pollen?

1. Energy Enhancer - The range of nutrients found within bee pollen makes it a great natural energizer. The carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins can help keep you going all day by enhancing stamina and fighting off fatigue.

2. Skin Soother - Bee pollen is often used in topical products that aim to treat inflammatory conditions and common skin irritations like psoriasis or eczema. The amino acids and vitamins protect the skin and aid the regeneration of cells.

3. Respiratory System - Bee pollen contains a high quantity of antioxidants that may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the tissues of the lungs, preventing the onset of asthma.

4. Treating Allergies – Pollen reduces the presence of histamine, ameliorating many allergies. Dr. Leo Conway, M.D of Denver Colorado, reported that 94 percent of his patients were completely free from allergy symptoms once treated with oral feeding of pollen. Everything from asthma to allergies to sinus problems were cleared, confirming that bee pollen is wonderfully effective against a wide range of respiratory diseases.

5. Digestive System - In addition to healthful vitamins, minerals and protein, bee pollen contains enzymes that can aid in digestion. Enzymes assist your body in getting all the nutrients you need from the food that you eat.

6. Immune System Booster - Pollen is good for the intestinal flora and thereby supports the immune system. According to holistic health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola, bee pollen has antibiotic-type properties that can help protect the body from contracting viruses. It’s also rich in antioxidants that protect the cells from the damaging oxidation of free radicals.

7. Treats Addictions – Used holistically for healing addictions and inhibiting cravings by suppressing impulses. Because bee pollen crashes cravings, it is a very useful research is needed into this benefit, particularly when it comes to weight management.

8. Supports the Cardiovascular System - Bee Pollen contains large amounts of Rutin; an antioxidant bioflavonoid that helps strengthen capillaries, blood vessels, assists with circulatory problems and corrects cholesterol levels. Its potent anti-clotting powers could help prevent heart attack and stroke.

9. Prostate Aid - Men who suffer from benign prostate hyperplasia can find relief by using bee pollen. Bee pollen can help reduce inflammation to stop frequent urges to urinate.

10. Infertility Problems - Bee pollen stimulates and restores ovarian function, therefore may be used to assist in accelerating pregnancy. As well as being a hormonal booster it is also a great aphrodisiac!

How Should Bee Pollen Be Consumed?

Bee pollen is a food and acts faster and more effectively when taken at mealtime and especially with fruit, which lets it gently, perform a little cleansing of the intestinal flora.

A spoonful at breakfast, preferably taken with a piece of fruit: the fruit fibers (raw hemicellulose) reinforce the activity of the fresh pollen.  You’ll be pleased to know that we, the bee keepers, are able to remove pollen from hives without harming the bees or disturbing their routine.

Bee Pollen Smoothie Recipe

 

 


Cool New Website-

Really like how the website software is set-up. It makes it really easy to use and understand for anyone. With people recovering from the recession money management is key for people. With your website and software it gives people a place to handle everything in one location.

So many people get into debt because they have poor budgeting and I can see with your software that you have made it extremely simple to create budgets and ways to help people get out of debt. With so many people choosing to do their banking online, this website fits perfectly with that trend. I will help so many people and the technology is complex, but simple enough for anyone to use.

Overall I really enjoyed the site. It is really easy to use and have a lot of helpful and useful features.  Check it out here!

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Company website is https://www.cardnanny.com , and they offer an online monthly budget planner software useful in creating and managing targeted budget goals, as well as managing your monthly income and expenses. In addition they let our customers store their receipts and warranty information for purchases & more.

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Very Cool!

Back to school shopping on a budget

How I Clothe My Kids On A Budget

Seriously, it’s just cheap.  But it works so well!

I know some people who like to buy nice kids’ clothes.  They go to upscale stores and they buy the clothes when they are brand new, when they need them.  So, they do back to school shopping in August and pay full price.  They walk away with the latest styles, at a price tag of $5OO or more for a full wardrobe!  They rave about how the clothes are such “high quality” and they’ll “last forever.”

News flash: Kids grow FAST.  Your kid will wear these clothes no longer than a year.  They don’t need to last forever. They need to be clean, they need to fit, and they need to look halfway decent (i.e. you don’t want sweatpants and t shirts for church.  But that’s it!  You really don’t need more than that.

How much do I spend on kids’ clothing per year?  About $75 to $105 per child.  For the whole year.  Even though we are in a Northern state and I have to buy separate summer and winter wardrobes.  And keep in mind this is only for thefirst child of that gender, in that season.

How do I do it, you may ask?  I’ve found a “formula” over the last couple of years that never fails.  The most important part of it is buy a year ahead of time.  You cannot get good deals on the latest styles.  Not really.  So I’ve already started shopping for next winter’s clothes for both kids, and it’s early January.  The reason some don’t do this is because they say “I don’t know what size my kids will be in next year!”  That excuse only works the first year, because your baby could actually be in size 12 months or 18 months depending on how fast he grows, at age 1.  Even then you can probably make a decent guess, or buy some of each.  With older children, just buy the next size up, and if your child doesn’t quite grow as fast, you’ll still have his previous year’s clothes to wear.  Guess a little bigger than you think if you’re really not sure, but by the time your kid is 2 or 3, you should have an idea of what his growth pattern is like.

Here’s a good breakdown:

Random Deals

If someone says, “Hey, there’s a big consignment sale this weekend or a Mom2Mom sale!” I try to go if at all possible.  Then I buy whatever I can that I know my children will wear in the next two years or so.  But when you find jeans for $1 you don’t pass them up, especially nice ones.  Brand new nice ones.  I once found a ton of undershirts and I got them for 5 cents each.  I also got really lucky on Craig’s List when the baby was a newborn (literally less than a month old and found a whole 18 month wardrobe for only $25.  I jumped on it, and he’s clothed this whole winter for super cheap!

Now, you can’t count on deals like this when you’re at crunch time: the kid needs clothes now.  That’s why you always keep $2O set aside and hit up any major consignment sale, garage sale, or Craig’s List deal that you find.  If clothes are $2 per piece or less and nice, just buy them.  You’ll thank yourself later.

J.C. Penney’s

My next step is to head to J.C. Penney’s.  They have Okee Dokee brand sweat pants and shirts (and capris, shorts, athletic pants, and sometimes even jeans and corduroys that are super cheap.  Find them on 7O% off clearance, and you’ll pay $2.99 for most items.  Occasionally the nicer items will be up to $5.99 and I usually skip those, but really they’re not a bad deal either.  I just know I can do better.

Here, I buy several pairs of pants and shirts.  I kind of let the kids choose whatever.  Most of the time my kids prefer to just wear soft tshirts or sweat pants anyway, and some of them are really cute.  These are definitely great play clothes.  Sometimes you can even find preppy polo style shirts for boys at this price, too, and those are nice for church or other “nicer” places.  This makes up about 7O% of what I buy for them.

Children’s Place

I like to hit this up much more in the winter than the summer, but I do it in both seasons.  At the end of their seasons [about the first two weeks of February, and beginning of August], they will do a major sale.  Whatever’s left is $2.99 or less.  I got Bekah tons of tights and leggings for only $1 each.  I also got both kids fleece jackets, sweatshirts, and sweaters [really too many] for just $2.99 each!  Yes, jackets and sweaters for that price!

This is where I really do some filling in on the “bigger” items.  I make sure I get their coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, and other nicer clothes here.  Sometimes they’ve had excellent deals on PJs, too, and I got some of those.  And of course,check the $1 bins for tights, leggings, hats, gloves, and other miscellaneous items.

By this time I’ve got them almost everything they need.  So then….

Garage Sales/Once Upon a Child/Craig’s List

Okay, I’ll be honest.  I don’t always have time to hit up garage sales.  I’m busy, they may or may not have what I want….  So I’ll do them now and then, but they’re not my main source of anything.  Also, in this area at least, you’ll often pay what you would at a consignment store or more for kids’ clothes.  I’m talking $3 to $5 for a shirt.  I’m not wasting all day trying to find clothes, then paying more than I would at many other places!  But, if I happen to go and happen to find a good deal, great.

I’ll go to Once Upon a Child because I know they’ll have the items I want, usually.  Here, I look for 5O% off tags or items that are $1 or $2 each.  I’ve found some really nice things, too.  I’ll fill in jeans, khakis, or a few extra shirts.  I often buy bathing suits here.  Bath robes are also good deals here.  I also buy dress shoes, boots, or other “special” shoes.  I refuse to pay more than $3 per item, except shoes.  I’ve also found nice winter coats for $5 here, which I’ll buy if I couldn’t get what I wanted at Children’s Place.

Craig’s List is the best place for PJs.  For some reason, most stores don’t have very good deals on them [and I’m notpaying $1O per pair], and OUAC often doesn’t even have them.  So I find a lot of PJs on CL and buy them up for $1 or $2 per pair.  This is for winter PJs only, by the way.  For the summer, I just buy the kids cheap undershirts and let them wear those and sweatpants to bed.  Or, if it’s hot, just the undershirt.  They do not need special summer PJs.  I only buy them in the winter because they would not be warm enough otherwise.

Walmart

Then I head to Walmart.  Here I buy socks and underwear.  They seem to have the best prices on big bags of neutral stuff.  I often buy undershirts here too.

And although I don’t do this very often, it’s worth mentioning that they have a table of “Garanimals” shirts/pants that are either $1.99 or $2.99, similar to the J.C. Penney’s stuff.  If they really are only $1.99 I should probably do this more often….  But it’s a good deal.

Also, I will often check Walmart at the very end of seasons when they have a lot of clothes on sale for around $3 to buy bathing suits or other “random” items.  We’ve bought shoes here too, if we’re in a pinch.

GoodWill

This is really hit or miss.  I mostly lump this in with the “random deals” group, because if I come across a shirt Bekah loves for $1, I’ll buy it.  But I do buy shoes or boots here if I possibly can.  They are only $2 a pair, instead of the $5 I’d pay at OUAC.  But they are hit and miss; it depends on what’s there.  They might not have my kid’s size.  So I’ll check, but I don’t count it as a guarantee by any means.

Gifts/Grandparents

Okay, this is really a “random deals” type thing too, but worth mentioning.  Family members will call and ask before Christmas or birthdays what our kids need.  Or sometimes they just feel like shopping, or they’re hitting up local garage sales or consignment stores, and they end up getting our kids some clothes.  This past July, Liam’s Grandparents hit up sales and Liam pretty much has full winter wardrobe!

This is where we often get the “nice” or random stuff, like Christmas or Easter dresses.  My mom loves to buy these for Claire, and often gets them at consignment stores.  She’s even bought up through size 5 already because she found some great deals.  Sometimes we get PJs or random shirts or just “whatever” this way.  And I can and sometimes do make special requests for items that I haven’t been able to find at a price I’m willing to pay: “Hey mom, could you check the consignment store near you to see if they have bigger onesies?  Thanks.”  I know she’ll get them about 3 for $1 so I don’t feel bad asking.  This is how I fill in those last “we don’t really need them but they would be so nice to have” items!

And that’s it!  That’s how I clothe my kids for around $75 or so per year, per kid.  It takes a lot of advance planning (like I said, I’m already buying for next fall and it’s right after Christmas, and a lot of time (I end up shopping at several stores over several weeks, but it’s worth it.  It’s nice to know I am being a good steward with our resources while providing well for my children!

How do you clothe your children on a budget?  How much do you spend per year, per child?

Natural Sunscreen Cheatsheet

SPF Natural Sun Screen

With all the hoopla about Vitamin D deficiency, melanoma, skin cancer, sun burns and more it’s no wonder everyone is SO confused about sun screens and how and when to use.  I did some research and found some great deals on what I consider safe and Natural Sun Screen with quality SPF’s.

Natural Sunscreen Lotions List:

(click on the product and buy it through Amazon, you don’t have to leave the house for these great deals…easy peezie)

Badger All Natural Sunscreen for Face & Body

  Protection: SPF 30+
Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 18.75%

   Price: ~ $14.99
Reviews: Lissa says, ” I was looking for a good, natural sunscreen for my 8 month old daughter and I ordered this one even after reading that the other Badger sunscreens left baby’s face all white. This is not true! I even use it on my face and I do not look like a mime! It actually rubs in really well and does not leave my face all greasy. It is easy to apply on my baby and seems to protect her very well from the sun.

ThinkBaby (ThinkSport) SPF 30+ Sunscreen

Protection: SPF 30+
Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 25%

Price: ~$16.00
Reviews: Nichole says, “ This is one of the best sunscreens all around. I have tried multiple sunscreen products from the EWG recommendation list and they are all horrible (california baby, badger). They are hard to spread and have a horrible odor. This one is great! It smells wonderful and spreads easily. I would recommend this product to anyone looking for a safe version of sunscreen for their children.

 

Loving Naturals Sunscreen

Protection: SPF 30
Active Ingredient: Non-Nano Zinc Oxide 24.8%
Price: ~ $10.00
Review:  Keisha says “I am always on the hunt or the safest most natural product I can find to use on myself & my family. I researched Loving Naturals on [...] to check the score (how safe it is to use on your body) & every procust by Loving Naturals came up 0-1 meaning low hazard. Right away I was sold on the company! I wanted to buy & try everything they made .”

 

Green Goddess Kids Natural Sunscreen

Protection: SPF 30
Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 6% and Zinc Oxide 6%
Price:: $20.99

Review: Susan “I absolutely LOVE Goddess Garden Sunscreen! Not greasy at all, and I can use it on my face and my body. Smells lovely…lavender!


Elemental Herbs Kids Sunscreen

Protection: Kids SPF 20
Active Ingredient: 25% non-nano Zinc Oxide
Price: ~ $8.99 – $19.39

Reviews:  Nancy says “I used the Elemental Herbs sunscreen for my kids when we went down to the beach last week. They loved it and it kept them protected without any sunburns! “

 

 

California Baby Everyday/Year-Round™ Sunscreen

   Protection: SPF 30+
Active Ingredient: Micronized Titanium Dioxide (CA Baby does not specify particle size)
Price: ~ $22.99
Reviews: Captinthreshold says: ” This sunscreen has no dangerous chemicals in it. The tube fits easily into your purse or beach bag and you don’t have to worry about the product running out of the container as this sunscreen is almost a cream-like consistency. A little goes a long way. One tube lasted my two kids and me a whole summer. It’s a little more expensive than your typical drugstore type sunscreen but the fact that it’s safe and doesn’t have a laundry list of chemicals in it makes it worth the $.”


 How We Formulated the List

To be approved for our natural sun screen  products needed to be free of Parabens, Phthalates, PEG’s, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Benzoate, Dimethicone, SLS and a bevy of other chemicals I won’t bother listing.  The sun screen ingredient we avoid is the synthetic chemical oxybenzone.  Oxybenzone is an endocrine disruptor which can affect the nervous system, has been linked to cancer in some laboratory studies, and creates free-radicals when exposed to the sun which are harmful.

Please follow the directions on your sunscreen to ensure proper protection.

Lastly, I am no scientist, chemist, or doctor.  However based on my research I believe in these products.  But please do your own research too.  This list is not complete, if you would like to add on of your favorites please do so in the comments section.